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Victory Brewing Company | Golden Monkey

Victory Brewing Company | Golden Monkey
Susan Engebretson

Since the risks I took at my local liquor store’s “you pick-6 section” did not pay off, I opened my fridge and saw Victory’s Golden Monkey and thought, “No way someone from has not written a showcase on this beer.” Yet a short search later revealed that this monster of a beer has not yet been reviewed by a PorchDrinking writer.

While I do not have that one beer that got me into craft beer, Golden Monkey was one of a handful of beers that I had during my early days, that showed me how crazy delicious beer can be. So I happily cracked a freshly packaged can, poured it into my favorite tulip and settled in to write this review.

Victory Brewing Company out of Downingtown, PA was founded by two friends that met in the fifth grade Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski. Golden Monkey gets its name from Ron looking at his son playing one day and saying he looked like a golden monkey. The logo plays off the monkey theme with the monkey performing the hear-no evil, see-no evil, speak-no evil principle. Enough about the background though, let’s delve into this Belgian-style Tripel with added spice.

The beer pours a deep golden color with a thick white head that persists. The nose is all about the Trappist yeast which gives off strong clove and banana flavors with a light lemon zest. The body is light with only a Pilsner malt used in the malt bill. Victory’s use of Pilsner malt allows the Belgian yeast to be the star and the added spices only accentuate the Belgian flavors developed by the yeast during fermentation. Other flavors on the palate are breadiness from the malt, some pear notes and earthiness from the Tettnang hops. A quick note on the hops that Victory uses, Victory is one of three remaining breweries that use whole flower hops instead of condensed pellets – the other two being Sierra Nevada and Deschutes. True to form, this Belgian-style Tripel is 9.5% although it does a pretty good job of hiding it. The finish is a nice balance of dry and sweetness from the alcohol that leaves you wanting another sip.

Golden Monkey is the #1 selling craft Belgian ale made in the U.S,  and it is Victory’s #1 seller as a company too.

Golden Monkey recently became available in 6-pack cans in Colorado and if you are like me your immediate thought is “should I shotgun this beer now?” Well the local Victory rep is a friend and gave me this quote, “it’s somewhat painful to shotgun, but always worth it.” So with that in mind, know your limits, but it is doable.

While doing research for this showcase, I spent a fair bit of time on Victory’s website and watched a video made specifically around Golden Monkey. The video opens with “everyone has a Golden Monkey story,” while my introduction story to Golden Monkey is not a thrilling one, it has always been a stand out beer for me. Victory’s website is even starting the hashtag #MonkeyTails on twitter to hear consumers’ stories involving Golden Monkey.

As what seems to be a reoccurring theme in my beer showcases, I must mention that there is a sour version of Golden Monkey aptly called Sour Monkey, that is available in six-packs full-time now, but that beer merits its own beer showcase. So grab yourself a six-pack or bomber and share your own Monkey Tail.


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